And we placed our hands on the topmost sand-bags, leapt, and stood.In West's diary we see how he changes over time, from a patriotic soldier to a strong anti-war thinker, from religious believer to atheist, as he becomes increasingly despondent at the futility and waste of war. He sees the greatest purpose in life as the opposite of pain, namely pleasure (physical, mental), and anyone who denies that pleasure (which he calls happiness) has no right to do so. He was about 50 years ahead of his time, the entire baby boomer generation would say the same thing during the 1960s. His book was published in 1919 and it received some attention at the time, but more so recently, he's today probably considered a minor author of the WWI canon.
Wormed our selves tinkling through, glanced back, and dropped.
The sodden ground was splashed with shallow pools,
And tufts of crackling cornstalks, two years old,
No man had reaped, and patches of spring grass.
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